The report will involve a comprehensive analysis of technologies that will include details of technical challenges & innovations surrounding potato processing and snacks. Information on regulatory authorities is also shared. Various products and associated guidelines will also be provided.
Potato snacks are produced worldwide and include a variety of products like chips, French fries, and flakes but are not limited to these. The smart packaging is being explored by the potato snack industry to attract more consumers.
The common problems experienced during the processing & manufacturing of potato snacks are reduction of nutrition value, presence of trans-fats and other components like acrylamide, high level of preservatives along with salt concentration, high calories and shelf-life of the snacks. Packaging of potato products could be another challenge so as to maintain the quality of chips, fresh plastic packages are being preferred and leads to the piling of non-degradable package pollution.
Understanding challenges and finding viable, cost-efficient solutions can aid in the expansion of business. After a comprehensive analysis of the potato snack industry, experts of Signicent found multiple challenges associated with the potato snack industry and packaging, some of which are discussed below.
- GMO products can trigger allergic reactions in an unpredictable manner as the involvement of foreign genes in the products. As much of the products do not label the ingredients as GMO-modified.
- Snacking can develop a range of health problems like elevated cholesterol levels and weight gain due to excessive calories/ oil consumption. However, most healthy products do not meet consumer demand for taste and texture.
- Deep-fat frying/ conventional frying carried out under atmospheric conditions and high temperature leads to oil decomposition, greasy taste, more acrylamide formation, and reduction in nutritional & total phenolic content.
- Packaging Industries are looking for alternatives to single-use plastic such as polypropylene (Non-biodegradable) for product packing as they have many negative effects on the environment.
To overcome the associated challenges following viable solutions can be opted.
- On the other hand, non-GMO products, and ingredients like soy/corn do not contain GMO material or foreign genes leading to relatively fewer chances of allergic reaction. And labelling is not an issue as the ingredients are not modified.
- Impregnation of natural bioactive compounds like rosemary extract, and catechins in potato chips for better taste and texture. Along with this, they act as nutrients or antioxidants providing health benefits.
- Frying under reduced pressure/vacuum (at low temperature & in the absence of oxygen) provides advantages like minimizing oil oxidation, lowering acrylamide formation, reducing oil content and preserving nutritional components
- Packaging industries are working towards biodegradable & compostable packaging solutions; plant-based plastics materials made up of wood pulp, corn starch, and milk protein for packing eatable products.
Each year Signicent provides consultancy to hundreds of organizations to help transform their innovations to value.
A highly automated potato chip vacuum frying system with a high degree of automation has gained popularity. This system has several components, for instance, a purification device along with a cleaning device. The peeling device and slicing device make the whole process very smooth. An impregnation & colour protection device with a vacuum frying device, a de-oiling device and a packaging device makes the system very unique. All these devices are incorporated into a single system for smooth processing.
Another similar case study deals with the processing of the food by focussing on less production of acrylamide. This is obtained under thermal conditions and the products like potato chips are prepared. The uniqueness of the process is that it involves vacuum frying or par-frying at ambient pressure or under vacuum conditions.
This technique involves a biodegradable bag made up of a biodegradable polymer for packaging food products such as potato chips.
The market is seeing innovations in every sphere and similar innovations are happening in food processing and potato snacks. Some of the most innovative products are as follows:
- Kettle Foods: USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified gluten-free, with no preservatives & zero grams trans fat product
- Organic Ranch Veggie Chips: These veggie chips comprise many ingredients including potato flour and starch. It also uses beetroot powder and is mentioned to be GMO-Free.
- Simply Potato Chips: Simply Potato chips use the process of deep-frying under a vacuum for the manufacturing of chips.
- Proper Crisps: The new packaging of the product leads it to zero waste and is made up of GMO-Free Corn-Sugars.
A non-GMO project committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. This project was funded in 2007. Heat-Generated Food Toxicants Identification, Characterization and Risk Minimisation (HEATOX) Project focused on health risks associated with heat-generated compounds like Acrylamide and aimed to identify innovative heating and cooking methods to minimize their formation, thereby providing safe, nutritious and high-quality foodstuffs.
Labelling Requirement: By virtue of Sections 5 and 6(10) of the Food Act B.E. 2522 (1979), the Minister of Public Health, with the suggestion by the Food Committee, hereby notifies that finished foods products like Potato chips, Extruded snack foods packages should have nutrition labelling and contain a statement like “Should Limit Consumption and exercise for a better health”.
This Regulation lays down the rules on good manufacturing practice (GMP) for the groups of materials and articles intended to come into contact with food listed in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 and combinations of those materials and articles or recycled materials and articles used in those materials and articles.
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